Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No Country For Old Men (2007)

Bowl Cuts: They're Killer

Nominees: "Attonment" "Juno" "Michael Clayton" "There Will Be Blood"

He Said: Are we there yet?

I loved this movie when I first saw it a few years back (just after it won the Oscar) and loved it again this time through. I had to laugh when we were about 1 hour into it and Shannon turned to me and asked “when is it going to get good.” To me it already was great. It has everything you would want in a great movie: great story, great acting, a winding intriguing storyline, violence, a twist ending, and Tommy Lee Jones. Well maybe the last one doesn't make a movie great but he certainly brings the sheriff character to life.

This movie follows a man who stumbles into a pile of cash at a drug deal gone wrong and the various groups that are after him for the money, including the hero, Javier Bardem. I use the word hero loosely, as Llewleyn really is the character we are supposed to support and feel for, but Bardem's character steals the show and it really is about what a crazy badass he is. The acting is really good all around, even if there seems to be hardly any lines at all for anybody excepting maybe Tommy Lee Jones.

The seamless directing is great, and I absolutely loved how there was no soundtrack. Sometimes the music that they choose for movies just gets in the way or is annoying, this one features no music at all and I feel it pulled me even more into the world of these characters and made it seem somehow more real.

I definitely think the Academy was right with this one. I may not have seen the other movies, although I would like to see There Will be Blood, but this one was excellent through and through and I couldn't imagine another movie in this year being better than this one.

She Said: No Movie for Shannon.

I didn't think I would like this one, and, lo and behold, I did not. Even when it first came out and I saw the previews, I knew it wasn't my kind of movie. Not that I can tell you what my kind of movie it is, exactly, but just that it usually involves humor, pathos (I love a good cry), and a real romance, not confusion and general indifference. In other words, "Juno" was much better, in my opinion.

That said, I went into it with an open mind. Kurt said it was great. My friends said it was great. I was prepared to be overwhelmed with it's greatness. Instead, about 1 hour into it, I asked Kurt "when is it going to get good?" to which he responded "It IS good." So much for that.

I did enjoy the second half of the movie much more than the first, though, and I thought the basic premise was interesting, if a bit typical: man stumbles across mass murder, takes the money, and is chased by a cold blooded killer, who is in turn chased by the police. All in all, though, I found it too understated and not compelling enough for my tastes. I just didn't care if the main character got caught and killed, or if the assassin man gets away, or how stoic Tommy Lee Jones could be in the face of everything (I hated the ending: what the hell did it have to do with the rest of the movie?!) Which isn't to say I wasn't intrigued at certain points, but it was only momentary, entirely based on plot minutia, and had nothing to do with the characters whatsoever.

As for the other nominees, a friend recently told me that he believed "There Will Be Blood" to be one of, if not THE, best American movie ever made. Which just makes me want to see it more than I do already, though my initial impetuous for seeing it is perhaps not suiting his praise: I LOVE Paul Dano, cause he rocks in "Little Miss Sunshine". I have a sinking feeling, however, that it won't be "my kind of movie" either...

Verdict: Split Decision


  1. I think No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood would both appeal to the same kind of movie-watcher. They were both really well done, but I would never watch them again because they kind of disturbed me. Juno was good, more enjoyable to watch, but I can see why No Country won over it. I think I preferred There Will Be Blood to No Country For Old Men. PS - you're blogging with a newborn? Must be a pro!

  2. I made the mistake of watching this movie in the background of doing other stuff. The lack of dialogue and/or music made it super confusing to someone not paying attention and coming in and out of the room. So I only saw half of it and hence can't make a decision. Although the fact that I have no interest in actually watching it may mean it's not my kind of movie, either.